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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
I don’t even know what I mean by that title. Anyway…
A few weeks ago, I sat down and randomly picked a movie to watch off of Netflix. That movie was Haywire. I knew absolutely nothing about it other than it starred Gina Carano (from which I gathered from Netflix’s poster icon). Having liked Carano from Fast and Furious 6, I decided to give it a go, and I am glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It is really refreshing to go into a movie completely blind. It is a shame that our modern movie-going experience rarely allows for this.Haywire has Carano as Mallory Kane, a mercenary-for-hire who suddenly and mysteriously finds herself the target of the company she works for. Let’s get down to brass tax. Haywire isn’t revolutionary as the story is very standard (with some sketchy plot elements). But it is wildly enjoyable. Additionally, director Steven Soderbergh gives the film a flavor to it where a lesser director would have floundered.
Specifically, I loved how Soderbergh gave the film the style of an action flick from the 1970s. The action sequences are largely devoid of music and rely on the brutality to sell it. In today’s modern action movies, you have a ton of over-the-top action explosions, music, and sound effects accompanying a fistfight. While I am not saying one is better than the other, it was really nice to have this throwback to an earlier style and make it work. In many ways, this film reminded me a lot of Soderbergh’s great 1999 revenge flick, The Limey.
What also really sold me on this film was Carano. There is always a risk when an athlete tries to be an actor. I would argue that nine times out of ten, it fails. Carano falls into that exception. She’s great in this. Haywire is also a great film to showcase how you can have a realistic female action star and do it right. Carano’s character doesn’t come from the Joss Whedon book of female characters. She is tough and brutal, but the film doesn’t shy away from her getting her butt kicked (as would likely happen given the events in the film).
I was also impressed with the supporting cast consisting of Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton. It is such an eclectic group of actors made even better in that I didn’t know any of these people were going to appear!
Haywire is a very effective film. It hits all the right notes that I would argue one would want out of an action/thriller such as this. Carano is such a watchable bad-ass in this that I want to see out more of her in leading roles (which she has sadly not had since Haywire). I recommend this film. It isn’t the greatest movie ever made, but it is entertaining with a sense of style.